There’s something ominous about the silence surrounding the condition of Ardie Fuqua. Fuqua is the ‘unknown’ comedian who was pulled out of the wreckage of that horrific car crash with Tracy Morgan, two weeks ago. In yet another obscene act of emotional rubbernecking, TMZ saw fit to post footage of Ardie as he lay unconscious on the roadside. (Footage I refuse to look at.)
For anyone who has ever seen Ardie at the Comedy Cellar, the thought of him, lying still and unconscious for even a moment, is inconceivable. That’s how alive and quick, how electric, he is on stage. HIs job as MC is a hellish one—to loosen up the crowd and make them laugh. This, often before they’ve been served a single drink. The miracle, small as it might seem to all but those who follow him as performers, is that he succeeds. He stalks and skitters across this tiny, claustrophobic space—eyeballing the audience, a grin as big as Eddie Murphy—always in a skinny suit jacket and tight jeans, stylish and full of life. So full of life.
Two years ago, Fuqua lost his 19-year-old son in a freak basketball accident. The ball hit his son in the chest between heart beats. He died instantly. The death of a child often turns a parent ancient overnight. Ancient, broken. But at 42-years-old, Ardie appears to be the youngest in the line-up—younger even the twenty and thirty somethings who headline his Thursday night gigs. I can only imagine his grin—the joy— he must have felt on that night he opened for Tracy Morgan in Delaware. All of which, again, makes the thought of him lying still and unconscious only hours later, too devastating to consider.
What makes Fuqua as a comic so unique, at least to me, is not so much the laughter he inspires but the affection. He is genuinely loved by audiences and comics alike. So please, consider making a contribution to Ardie Fuqua and his family through the Comedy Cellar’s Go Fund here:
And think about joining Louis CK, Judd Apatow, and his own 19-year-old daughter and asking TMZ to remove the footage.
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